I used to write a lot of fiction. Then I stopped. I am not sure why I stopped… but I miss it. The other night I was in the gym, and I had this idea… I wanted to write a short story. So I grabbed my iPad and wrote the first draft of this story. It’s short, to the point, and told from her perspective. But it was fun to write, and I can see myself in her shoes. I am hoping to write more short stories, and I will share them all right here on the blog. I welcome any feedback you have, as it has been a long time since I have written fiction. I hope you enjoy!
I had only been living in New York for a few years. I moved here when I was 18 for college, but after a few semesters I realized that higher education wasn’t for me. I already had a good job, and I adored my apartment. It was a cute little studio on 5th avenue with a great view of the city. I actually got a great deal on the place, and was only paying $1,250 a month. That included water, trash, and the electricity. The landlord was great.
There was a cute little bakery on the corner, and I would grab coffee almost every morning on my way to work. Juan knew what I drank, and I rarely had to pay. I think he thought I was cute. Before I left, I would toss a few bucks in the tip jar. Juan made a great macchiato.
I worked downtown, but didn’t have to clock in. If I worked my 40 hours, that was all Jamie expected of me. The tattoo shop was open 24 hours a day, so working 40 hours a week was a breeze. I worked up front, answering the phones and scheduling appointments. It wasn’t glamorous, but I liked my place in the world. I had a desk, a cordless phone, and could come and go as I please. That’s why Eric and I were able to last so long.
Eric was a bum. He was a barista at Starbucks, and delivered pizza on the weekends. He would be homeless if he didn’t have roommates. But he was gorgeous. Model hot, and I had no idea why he fell in love with me. I didn’t care… I loved him with all my heart.
It was getting late, and I was hungry. Eric was picking me up, I just didn’t know when. When he arrived after midnight, I was worried nothing would be open. Eric knew of a late night joint near Times Square, so we headed that way. The kid delivers pizza, yet we travel thirty minutes out of way for a slice. Go figure.
We eventually ate, but they only had cheese. I had two slices, some garlic knots, and a can of Sprite. I was full and as we walked north I grabbed Eric’s hand. This is what New York City is all about.
As we walked, I noticed a couple of kids in front of us, but I didn’t think much of it. Then they stopped dead in their tracks, turned, and started yelling, “Get down!” Having no idea what was going on, I hit the pavement with a thud. Eric wasn’t far behind. Then, out of nowhere, a third person grabbed both my arms and tied me up. When he was done with me, he tied Eric up as well.
All of this happened in the blink of an eye. I honestly had no idea what was going on. I had heard horror stories of people getting mugged in the city, but never tied up. It was dark, and I could barely see. I looked to Eric, hoping he would offer some sympathy.
“Eric, who are these guys?” I cried.
“How would I know? I don’t meet a lot of thugs pouring coffee and delivering pizza.” Eric seemed calm.
“What do we do. It’s late and I’m scared.”
“Let’s just see what happens. Not like we have much of a choice.” Eric wasn’t trying to be a hero here. He was right.
One of the muggers grabbed my purse and dumped everything out on the ground. He grabbed my wallet, pulled out all the cash, and tossed everything else to the side. He didn’t take my credit cards, or my iPhone… Just the cash.
He reached over, grabbed Eric’s wallet, and did the same thing. Because of his tips, Eric had a lot of dollar bills in his wallet. The criminal took it all, looked in the wallet one more time to make sure he didn’t miss anything. When he was done, he tossed the wallet on the ground and the three men took off running. We lay there, still tied up and obviously shaken.
“What do we do now?” I asked.
“Maybe someone saw and will come help us. If not, then I guess we will wait until the morning and hope a stranger spots us on his or her way to work. Not much else we can do.” Eric remained calm through the whole thing. We had just been mugged, and all I could do was not start crying.
A few minutes later, a homeless man came strolling by. He was whistling some show tune when he spotted us.
“You folks OK?” He asked. He was a few feet in front of us, and I could already smell the booze on his breath.
“We were just mugged. They tied us up, stole all our money, and took off. Can you untie us?” I hoped this man had a heart. He didn’t need a home to have a heart for another human being. Sadly, I ignore homeless people in passing. If this man helps us up, I won’t ignore another homeless person as long as I live.
“I can help y’all up, but I ain’t got no knife or nothing. How you expect me cut those wires around your wrist?” asked the man.
“Can you just help us up? If we can stand up, we can make it home and figure this all out.” Eric was ready for this night to be over. He stayed calm, but his patience was wearing thin.
“I suppose I can help. But what’s in it for me?”
I knew it. Homeless people are all alike. Maybe I can offer to buy him some booze. God knows he could use another shot.
“If you help us up, I will buy you a fifth of your favorite whiskey.”
“Now you’re talking. Get on up here son.” He helped Eric up first. Then he grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me up. I was actually able to wiggle my arms free, and untied Eric.
“Thank you sir. What is your poison?” My credit card was still in my wallet, so I would be able to deliver on my promise.
“You ain’t gotta get me nothing. I was just messing with you kind folk. I’m sorry about this here tonight. This is a rough part of town. Next time you over this way, make sure to stay on the main drag.”
The homeless man grabbed his shopping cart and slowly disappeared in to the nearby park. I stood there, still shaking trying not to cry. I looked at Eric, and he was dusting himself off.
“You ready to go home sweetie?” Eric said with a smile on his face. It was like nothing had happened.
This is why I love this man. He didn’t need to be a hero. He just needed to be by my side. The crooks got away with a few hundred bucks, but we are both safe. I filed a police report the next day, but it pretty much fell on deaf ears. They won’t ever catch these guys.
The next night Eric picked me up after work. We were hungry, and he wanted pizza.
“I know this really nice place in Times Square.”
We went home, ordered delivery, and watched a movie on the couch. I love New York City.